WiR: Twitter Pushes into Live Mobile Streaming, Strike Called Against Budweiser, Conflicting Reports of Pay TV Growth


In this week’s Week in Review, the UK sees another publisher alliance emerge, the agencies rise up against a brand, and there are some early signs that TV’s dominance is subsiding. For a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Twitter Takes on Meerkat with Periscope
Twitter’s answer to Meerkat, Periscope, is now available to download The free app allows users to steam live public and private broadcasts with the option to automatically tweet a link to the stream. While at first sight mobile live streaming certainly holds lots of promise and it’s going to be interesting to see whether it is adopted as a mainstream activity on social networks, and how it affects rightsholders for live events.

Marketing Agencies Association Calls for Strike Against Budweiser Brewer 
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is in hot water over ‘despicable’ practices allegedly imposed by the Budweiser maker on members of the Marketing Agencies Association when pitching for work. AB InBev reportedly asked agencies how low they would go on rates, how many free hours of work they’d offer and whether they’d wait for payment beyond the current 120-day period. The world’s biggest brewer also asked agencies how much money they’d give back — known as rebates — beyond a minimum 5 percent the company already stipulates, to contribute to its corporate sustainability program, the MAA said. The organisation called on agencies that work with AB InBev to strike starting April 7.

Global Pay TV Market Grows, US Revenues Fall
The global pay TV market grew at a steady rate of 4 percent last year, despite a slower increase in revenues due to ‘weak currency exchange rates,’ according to ABI Research. The worldwide pay TV market reached 923.5 million subscribers last year and is expected to exceed 1.1 billion subscribers in 2020. Global pay TV revenues reached US$257 billion in 2014, with this figure expected to grow to $313 billion by 2020. Cable and terrestrial TV markets had weaker growth rates in 2014 compared to satellite and IPTV platforms. High definition penetration was found to be increasing across all pay TV platforms.

In the same week however, The latest edition of the Digital TV North America reports pay TV revenues in North America peaked in 2013 at $102.86 billion,and revenues will fall by 11.7% or $12.04 billion between 2014 and 2020 to $90.71 billion in 2020. Cable revenues in Canada and the US will decline by $12.98 billion, mainly from digital cable. Satellite TV will lose a further $1.23 billion, but IPTV will climb by $2.17 billion. Satellite TV will overtake cable to become the largest pay TV platform earner in 2019.

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Facebook Announces New Features
At it’s F8 event in San Francisco, Facebook revealed that it’s updated LiveRail to show native ads and unlocked its messaging platform to third-party apps.

TV Still Dominant, But for How Long?
TV advertising will account for 42.2 percent of the global ad market in 2015, but there are indications that its share is ‘slowly eroding’, according to new research by global media network Carat. Carat’s latest global ad spend report claims that TV will continue to command the highest share of spend this year, particularly in Latin America and the Middle East. However, TV’s share decreased by 1.2 percentage points over the past five years, with TV accounting for a higher 42.7% of the ad market in 2014. The UK market is healthy and driving growth in Western Europe, but is not growing as fast as Carat predicted in 2014.

Australia: Linear Broadcast Still Accounts for 92 Percent of TV Viewing
The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report, covering Q4 2014, reveals viewing of video content on Internet-connected mobile devices has grown year-on-year though it remains small relative to the time Australians spend watching broadcast television on in-home TV sets. Internet-capable TVs have the fastest adoption rate and take-up of tablets has slowed from previous quarters.

AOP Publisher Alliance Announced in UK
A UK publisher alliance to rival that of last week’s Guardian lead ‘Pangaea Alliance’ has been created. The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) announced an alliance, including inventory and audience data from Telegraph Media Group, ESI Media, Time Inc., Haymarket Media Group, Dennis Publishing Ltd, Auto Trader, Future Plc, Sift Media, and Bauer Consumer Media Ltd. Development is led by a steering committee within the AOP and is powered by AppNexus. The AOP has yet to appoint a manager and operations team. Tim Faircliff, chairman of AOP told VAN that there would be no immediate focus on video.

Rumoured Facebook Vice and Vox Partnership Could Threaten YouTube
Facebook is reportedly in talks with several media firms for a new project known as ‘Anthology,’ according to a new report from The Information’s Amir Efrati and Tom Dotan. Companies such Vox, Vice, and The Onion could produce short videos that would be published directly on Facebook. By improving the quality of the videos that ads appear against, Facebook is making users more comfortable with seeing ads and earning more revenue. Facebook already has deals like this in place with the NFL and Verizon and reportedly plans to discuss more details regarding ‘Anthology’ during the ‘NewFronts’ conference in April in New York.

Interactive TV Ads Hailed as Biggest Trend by Zenterio
Interactive advertising is the most important trend within the digital TV industry, according to a new report by Zenterio and Digital TV Europe. The report surveyed 200 industry stakeholders in more than 50 countries and reveals that seven out of ten operators consider integrating interactive advertising as part of their offering. The greatest opportunities for are identified as via ads on second screen devices linked to the content being watched, offering sponsorships or through interactive advertising during regular commercial breaks. Collaboration with others offering complementary services and improvements in targeting were also seen to be key.

Is Branded Video Content Actually Better for Engagement?
Elena Sukacheva, the managing director of Global Content Solutions Group, part of the Economist Group, shared shocking new data that compared millennials with marketers and C-suite executives, reports The Drum. The study, revealed at the 4As conference this week, polled 500 C-level executives, 500 millennials, and 500 marketers globally. It found that 75 per cent of respondents still preferred text to video when consuming video content. A large number of those polled, 60 per cent, said that they don’t enjoy consuming content that sounds like a ‘sales pitch.’

EC Wants Net Neutrality and No Geoblocking
The European Commission has reiterated its call for strong net neutrality and an open market for digital media with an end to geo blocking. EC VP and digital single market commissioner Andrus Ansip told a European Voice event on Creating Europe’s Digital Highways that the internet should be governed by common rules for net neutrality and an open internet that allows European industry to innovate. Ansip said that a public consultation on copyright a year ago had shown that 95 per cent of people objected to geo-blocking, that one in five Europeans wanted to access content from other EU countries, while over a quarter wanted to access content from their own country when they are abroad.

Google Fiber TV now delivers ads based on your viewing habits
Google Fiber’s TV service is now delivering targeted ads based on subscribers’ viewing history, the company said in a forum post on Friday. A small trial is to start in the US in Kansas and the ads will show during existing ad breaks, along with national ads, on live TV and DVR-recorded programs. Fiber TV ads will be digitally delivered in real time and can be matched based on geography, the type of program being shown (e.g., sports or news), or viewing history. Customers will see the targeted TV ads unless they opt out. Google provided instructions for opting out using the TV remote control. Targeted ads will not be tailored from customers’ Web surfing behaviour, the company said, according to The Kansas City Star.

Amazon Fire TV Stick & Google Nexus Player Come to the UK
Amazon will launch its Fire TV Stick in the UK on April 15th. The HDMI dongle, priced at £35 (€45.50), streams video via Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube, among others, straight to user’s televisions. For the first two days existing Amazon Prime subscribers can order the gadget for £19.

Google’s Nexus Player, featuring the Android TV platform, also launched this week. The Asus made device is available for £79.99 (€104) – £20 more than the recently price-cut Apple TV. The device is ‘Google Cast-ready’, allowing users to cast movies, music, and other entertainment content from their tablet, smartphone, or laptop to their TV. Nexus Player will launch with apps such as Netflix and YouTube, but UK catch-up apps (such as BBC iPlayer) are not so far confirmed.

Vessel Launches to the Public
Three months after inviting online video creators to join it, Vessel has opened its doors to the public. The company has invited people to sign up for its online video service, which offers early access to short videos. Some videos are free, but its main offering is a $2.99-a-month subscription that promises viewers access to short-form videos at least three days before they become available elsewhere online. Vessel has more than 175 content partners providing early access to their videos. The company reportedly has 2,500 creators still waiting for approval.

Twitter Tests Autoplay Videos in iPhone and iPad Apps
This week, some people in the U.S. using Twitter’s iPhone and iPad apps may have noticed videos playing in their feed automatically, reports AdAge. It’s part of a two-pronged test the company is conducting to see whether people are more likely to watch a video when it starts playing automatically as it does in Facebook, as opposed to the current model requiring a click to play, as it does in YouTube.

O2 Customers Gain Access to Channel 4 Content Early Under All 4 Sponsorship Deal
Channel 4 and O2 have announced a deal which sees the mobile phone operator become the exclusive partner of the broadcaster’s new digital TV service All 4, replacing 4oD from Monday 30 March. The partnership will see 10 of Channel 4’s top series, including Peep Show, Fresh Meat and Made in Chelsea, premiered to O2 Priority customers 48 hours early and multi-platform sponsorship of All 4 throughout 2015.

StickyADS.tv’s appointment of Massimo de Magistris as General Manager EMEA marks new era of global expansion
StickyADS.tv, a programmatic video supply-side-platform (SSP), has hired Massimo de Magistris as General Manager EMEA, based in London, UK. Prior to joining StickyAds.tv, de Magistris de Magistris led the Microsoft European division at Atlas EMEA where he managed a team in five countries.

FreeWheel Adds MEDIALAAN to Roster of Premium Publisher Clients
FreeWheel has been selected by Belgian commercial broadcaster MEDIALAAN to power digital monetisation for the company. The companies claim the deal will create better user experiences and result in higher impact for video advertising campaigns.

BBFC Rating for YouTube Music Videos
Music videos on YouTube and Vevo will now be presented with cinema-style age certificates. The age ratings are part of a government-backed pilot scheme, which aims to protect children from explicit content. Ratings will be decided by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), with all three major record labels taking part. This is the second phase of the pilot, which began as a behind-the-scenes trial in October. The initial phase found that roughly 20 per cent of all videos would receive a 12, 15 or 18 certificate.

Yahoo Leaves China to Little Fanfare
Yahoo’s decision to close its last remaining operations in China – a research and development center in Beijing – will have little impact on the country’s digital industry, experts say, as the company has been largely dormant in the region for the past several years. Yahoo China has had limited operations in China since it was acquired by Alibaba as part of a strategic partnership with Yahoo Inc. in 2005. In 2013, the www.yahoo.cn Web portal was closed and users were given the option to transfer their existing Yahoo China mail accounts to other Yahoo sites or to Alibaba’s Alimail platform.

Magnetic Awarded Patent for Search Retargeting Technology
Magnetic has announced that it has received a patent for its search retargeting technology. The patent covers Magnetic’s programmatic solution for retargeting advertisements based on keywords, enabling advertisers to reach audiences with digital display advertising based on search intent.

Ad of the Week, My Mother’s Name Is, UN Women and Impact BBDO Dubai
Speaking the name of your mother is an Egyptian taboo. Over time, we’re told, many women have their names largely forgotten, and are referred to as the mothers of their eldest sons. This loss of identity is accompanied by a loss of societal status. The film asks viewers to change their social media profile icons to their mother’s names and spread the word using #MyMothersNameIs.


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